Missouri’s share of a settlement stemming from Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal is relieving some of the pressure on the state budget.
A day after Attorney General Chris Koster transferred an $8.7 million share of the automaker’s settlement into the state’s general fund, Gov. Jay Nixon announced he would use the money to offset earlier cuts he made to the $27 billion budget.
Of the money, $4.5 million will go to local school transportation costs. He earlier had slashed that spending by $16.5 million after lawmakers defied his veto of a handful of tax breaks. He also restored a $3 million cut to biodiesel subsidies and released $1.2 million in funding to the State Emergency Management Agency to support disaster responses.
Since July, the governor has cut an estimated $175 million, citing slow growth in revenues and various actions by the Legislature. With Friday’s restoration, and a separate release of money earlier this month, Nixon has restored $20 million of the total.
“Now that these funds are available as a result of yesterday’s settlement, I am making the money available so we can provide additional funding to school transportation, first responders and Missouri’s agricultural producers,” Nixon said. “Because of Missouri’s fiscal discipline we are able to immediately release these funds to support these important budget priorities.”
The $8.7 million is just part of Volkswagen’s planned payments to Missouri. The company also agreed to pay as much as $39 million for environmental air remediation programs in the state, as well as $40 million on a consumer vehicle buyback or repair program.
The German car maker admitted to programming its diesel vehicles to appear they emitted less pollution than they actually do. The time period for the cheating ranged from 2008 to 2015.